Archive for the 'Religion' Category



Muslim Street Prayers In France

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 19 hours ago

That’s what it looks like in France today.  You can develop your own timeline for America.

St. Louis “Clergy Of The Dead” Speak Out Against Guns In Churches

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Religious leaders across denominations spoke out in St. Louis on Wednesday against pending legislation that would allow concealed weapons in places of worship in Missouri without permission of the clergy.

“The bill would broaden Second Amendment rights at the expense of the First Amendment right of religious liberty,” said Most Rev. Robert Carlson, archbishop of St. Louis, who presides over some 500,000 Roman Catholics in the region.

Carlson was joined at a press conference by eight religious leaders representing the Jewish, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist and Evangelical Lutheran faiths, among others.

The clergy members specified opposition to one bill in particular: House Bill 1936 which would expand the places where concealed weapons are allowed.

The bill has passed two House committee votes along party lines. Republicans voted yes. Democrats voted no. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa, did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

The legislation aims to end “gun-free zones” where concealed weapons are restricted, including places of worship, college buildings, public hospitals, voting polls, amusement parks, casinos and bars.

[ … ]

Under current law, a person must get permission from a member of the clergy at a religious institution in order to carry a weapon into the place of worship. The new law would allow for the legal carry of a concealed weapon unless a sign banning weapons is prominently displayed.

What a strange thing.  The law doesn’t mandate that churches allow weapons, and since this is private property I support that because I support property rights.

What the law does is force them to post since this property usually comes with understood open invitations to join the services.  In other words, the “clergy” here doesn’t want the public to know their position, or at least be forced to wonder.

Perhaps they also don’t like the fact that in an ironic twist they are announcing the fact that they have decided to leave themselves without protection of any kind and thus a shooting gallery for would-be perpetrators.

I think it’s a wonderful thing that congregants and parishioners can now tell if they should enter at their own risk as soon as they set foot on the property.  I think it’s sad that the rest of the folk have been left with no protection.

These clergy aren’t clergy at all.  The churches are open sepulchers with dead men preaching to dead congregants.  They have no wisdom, no discernment, and couldn’t care less about the law of God, the pinnacle of which is the law of love, or protecting and caring for those around you.

Night Of Terror For Christians In Cyprus After Attack Of Muslim Migrants

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

Voice of Europe:

Wednesday night, about 20 Muslim migrants attacked a Christian congregation outside St. Mary’s church during the holy liturgy in Leukosia, Greece’s Pronews reports. 

Most of the Christians were inside the church when 20 Muslims suddenly arrived at the temple’s yard and began screaming, cursing, and beating the attendees.

According to statements given by locals at Sigma live news, one of the Muslims was waving an adze and tried to use it against members of the congregation. The Muslims disappeared after the police, called in by the terrorized believers, appeared on the scene.

The people of Cyprus live in agony, as the Orthodox Easter will be on the next Sunday. No one knows if a similar accident will happen again.

Europe is lost.  We all know that.  Christians have been led to the slaughter by their leaders who flooded the continent with savages, and who either never let them arm up or demanded that they disarm.

This is what happens.  The coming chaos and terror for Christians is unavoidable and nothing can be done to stop it.  They cannot even defend themselves.

As for Christians in America, there are many subdivisions, but the two most dangerous and debilitating are [1] those who believe that Jesus is returning to remove them from the chaos and set up a reign in Jerusalem, and [2] those who believe that Jesus called on them to be pacifists.

I don’t believe either one of the two positions.  There has never been a time in church history where God allowed His people to refuse to be salt and light, let the culture around them go to hell, and then snatch His people out of the trouble they caused by their recalcitrance.  There are consequences to disobedience, and those consequences create a wake of consequences for others.  We sleep in the bed we make.

And we’ve dealt with this ridiculous notion that Christ called on His people to be Bohemian hippie flower child pacifists.  It’s wrong, and dangerously so.  Holy warriors, armed and dispensing death to invaders, murderers and rapists is a much better example to follow.

But the two categories of Christians I mentioned are sleepwalking into catastrophe and slaughter.  They may wake up to find that their daughters are being raped when they don’t wear head cover, and their sons are being recruited for jihad.  Wake up, ye church.  Wake up from your slumber before it’s too late.

How The Religious Right’s Second Amendment Rhetoric Has Pervaded The Gun Debate

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 2 days ago

RightWingWatch:

Earlier today, Kyle wrote about right-wing pastor Chuck Baldwin’s recent assertion that it is a “biblical requirement” that every person own an assault weapon like an AR-15 and that Christians who don’t do so “have denied the Christian faith.”

Baldwin’s comments were eyebrow-raising, but fit in a pattern of the Religious Right’s attempts to rewrite American history and reinterpret the Bible to argue that not only the Constitution but God Himself requires unrestricted access to weapons of war.

We’ve put together a video showing some people who have made this argument, from Gordon Klingenschmitt, who insists the Bible says “all the citizens ought to be armed so they can defend themselves against left wing crazies,” to Family Research Council official Jerry Boykin, who has said that when Jesus returns he’ll be carrying an AR-15.

And of course the video includes David Barton, the Religious Right’s favorite purveyor of bogus historical arguments, claiming that the Founding Fathers called the Second Amendment “the biblical right of self defense.” (Barton also believes that the Second Amendment guarantees every citizen’s right to own a fighter jet.)

As Americans debate gun law reform after the mass shooting at a Florida school earlier this year, the Religious Right’s influence on the conservative movement’s rhetoric about guns is often overlooked. But as the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre made clear when he spoke at CPAC this year about the unrestricted right to bear arms being “granted by God to all Americans as our American birthright,” the Religious Right’s language on guns has become a pervasive part of the Right’s rhetoric around the Second Amendment.

Well, Mr. Baldwin wasn’t careful enough.  I’d say that defense of home and family is a Biblical requirement, but I wouldn’t say that the Scriptures dictate what weapon you use.  We mustn’t go past the Holy Writ in our pronouncements.

As for the notion that the founders believed that self defense was a Biblical idea, they certainly did.  We’ve seen already how the Calvinian doctrine of covenant was pervasive in the founders’ charges against the King and the early days of the colonies.  All this “Right Wing Watch” has to do is a little study and they can come up with something better than this silly article.  We have also seen how the Scriptures support, and even demand self defense as the apex of obedience to God’s law of love.

So if you need scholarship, don’t turn to something like the Right Wing Watch, whatever that is.  Hey, now that I think about it, how do I draw the attention of these creeps?

Scripture Is Silent On The Issue Of Guns In Churches

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

So says Rev. John Armstrong, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Columbus.

Guns in churches is really a non-issue, and I will explain why shortly.

I address it only because there is a larger issue in play, reflected in the words of the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, “do not exceed that which is written.”

Scripture speaks to many subjects: the creation of the world, the sinfulness of humanity, and the grace of God for all humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Scripture also speaks of the sanctity of human life from the womb to the tomb, and the truth that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.

But Scripture does not address every issue that we confront, including emergency response procedures in churches.

Knowing this, Christians down through the ages have agreed, “We speak where Scripture speaks, and where Scripture is silent, we must be silent.”

That doesn’t mean we can’t have an opinion, but it remains only that — an opinion.

We cannot say, “Thus saith the Lord,” where the Lord has not spoken a clear word.

To speak for God in such situations is to burden consciences in a way God never intended.

In such matters, we may exercise Christian freedom, but we must exercise our freedom in a responsible way that always takes the well-being of our neighbor into account.

For example, when Jesus says, “Do not resist an evil person,” he is speaking to his disciples about their own lives and how they should not strike back against those who are persecuting them personally.

He is not prohibiting them from acting to save the lives of others, which love of neighbor would certainly allow and perhaps even require.

When someone perceives that the only way to save life or prevent further loss of life is to attack, even kill an active shooter, I assume he or she does so out of love for neighbor.

I cannot condemn such an action.

I can only thank God the person was there and had the opportunity and the concern for others to act.

What mother or father would stand idly by while their child’s life is being taken?

Does Jesus require that of parents?

Not in my opinion, but it’s just that — my opinion.

Armstrong is confused and shouldn’t be a pastor if he cannot build an argument from the Scriptures for defending his own child’s life.

Let me briefly do it for him.

The Holy writ is a unity, with Christ as the scarlet thread running throughout.  The words of the O.T. are no more in contradiction with Christ than the balance of the N.T.  There is progressive revelation and development of the covenant, but there isn’t any embarrassing contradiction.  We needn’t turn to obscure passages or tangential concerns to justify Biblical self defense.  As we’ve noted before, the basis for it is found in the Decalogue.

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

And concerning John Calvin’s comments on this subject:

We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden.  There is no one who doesn’t concede this.  That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment.  Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned.  But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify.  For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice.  We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds.  Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so.  Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).

If you’re willing to sacrifice the safety and health of your wife or children to the evils of abuse, kidnapping, sexual predation or death, God isn’t impressed with your fake morality.  Capable of stopping it and choosing not to, you’re no better than a child molester, and I wouldn’t allow you even to be around my grandchildren.

Is that clear enough for you, John?

Alison Krauss And Yo-Yo Ma: The Wexford Carol

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope you had a blessed Christmas day, a day of remembering and honoring God for His greatest gift to mankind, without whom the cosmic gulf between God and man would still exist, but with whom we have reconciliation to God and a vicarious atonement because of the sacrifice of the Word of God, God Himself in Jesus.

By The Mouths Of How Many Witnesses?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

When we discussed what I called the unbiblical idea that exculpatory evidence is excluded from the court because it’s “hearsay” evidence, it occurred to me that we could add more discussion to this.  From R. J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, pages 566 -567.

The Biblical law of testimony does not permit torture or coerced confessions.  Voluntary confession is possible, but two or more witnesses are required for conviction.  More strictly, confession is never cited in the law; its place in court was apparently only in connection with corroborating evidence.  Thus Achan’s confession required confirming evidence before he was sentence and executed (Joshua 7:19-26).  The voluntary aspect of Achan’s confession must be noted.  Biblical law preserves the integrity of the individual against forced confession; the right of citizens to be protected from the power of the state to compel their self-incrimination does not appear outside the Biblical legal tradition.

[ … ]

The objection to self-incrimination means that a Christian must oppose the use of lie detectors as a matter do principle.  The lie detector reverses a basic principle of justice …

Another point of interest with respect to lie detector tests has been cited by a Christian police officer.  An innocent man may submit to the test in the hopes of clearing himself, but, once under the test, his total privacy is subject to invasion.  He can be asked about religious beliefs, political opinions, does he own any guns, and almost anything the examiners choose to ask him.  The result is a forced confession.

Like lie detectors, wire-tapping is a form of illegal invasion of privacy; it involves a form of coerced confession, a destruction of the integrity of communication, which makes it clearly immoral and wrong.

But America has long since defenestrated a Biblical notion of righteousness and justice, in its place having substituted the notion of the state as god, and thus you see today that Robert Mueller’s team has absconded with emails to which they have absolutely no right.  In a more righteous society, Mueller and his team would be held accountable for this immoral action.

ISIS Threatens National Cathedral

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

PJM:

Islamic State supporters issued a new Christmas-themed threat showing the National Cathedral in Washington in flames, with a camouflage-clad jihadist wielding a rifle standing in front of the Gothic structure.

The poster circulating among ISIS channels photoshops the photo of the church used on its Wikipedia page.

The text warning on the image is of a city just attacked this past week, though: “Wait for us: We meet at Christmas in New York… soon.”

The threat mirrors that on a poster of Santa with a case of dynamite overlooking Times Square, which was released just after Thanksgiving: “We meet at Christmas in New York… soon,” reads the text on that image.

Idiots.  Santa Claus has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas or Christianity.  And the National Cathedral has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity either.  They no longer believe in anything at all, and ISIS is wasting their time assuming that an attack on the National Cathedral would deter believers in America from meeting and worshipping on the Lord’s Day Sabbath.

However, it does bring up an interesting little dilemma for the National Cathedral, yes?  You see, they are leaders in the progressive community in gun control.  This sermon (posted on their web site) tells us everything we need to know.

I, for one, have decided to join forces with Dean Hall at the National Cathedral and all people of faith and good will who are saying now, in response to Friday’s tragedy, that enough is enough. We have been fed enough the stale bread of violence. We have been complicit too long in a system that allows such crimes to continue. 119,079 children and teens have been killed by gun violence since 1979, according to Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund, more than the number of Americans killed in any of the 20th century’s largest wars. More than 10,000 Americans were killed by gun violence last year alone.

Dean Hall and I have decided to dedicate ourselves to the work of passing national legislation to ban the sale of assault weapons and ammunition in this country and I invite you, as a congregation, to join us and others for whom something snapped inside on Friday, as if we collectively all awoke from a very bad dream. While there are legitimate reasons to own a gun for sport and self-defense, there is no reason for civilians to own weapons whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of people. And while there is far more to be done to reduce violence in our nation and to care for the mentally ill, if we don’t begin with the most obvious first steps, how will we ever progress to more difficult challenges?

So there you have it.  The very people who have been threatened by ISIS believe they shouldn’t be allowed to defend themselves and should have to turn to the state for protection.  The National Cathedral has never once averred that congregants should carry, any more than they believe that men walking the street should be allowed to carry weapons.  Their tip of the hat to self defense is a lie.

If I was a congregant at the National Cathedral, I sure wouldn’t be attending there any more.  But then again, why would anyone be a congregant at the National Cathedral?  They don’t believe in anything.

R. C. Sproul Goes To Heaven

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

Albert Mohler:

He was one of the great defenders of historic Christianity of our times. It is fair to say that R.C. was the greatest and most influential proponent of the recovery of Reformed theology in the last century. He was a stalwart defender of the Word of God, and one of the primary architects of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in 1978. His tapes were soon accompanied by his books and the vastly expanding influence of Ligonier Ministries.

When he taught about the holiness of God, a generation of evangelicals was rescued from the emaciated and desiccated theology of cultural Christianity. When he defended Reformed theology, he taught us all how to understand the gospel in terms of God’s eternal purpose to save, consistent with his sovereignty. He was rigorously biblical and ruthlessly logical . . . with a smile.

He loved to introduce Christians to both the splendors and the humbling lessons of church history. He wanted evangelical Christians to stand in a line of faithfulness that began with the apostles and continued to the present. He had the heart and courage of Martin Luther and the theological precision and passion of John Calvin. He was a proud son of the Reformation, and the solas of the Reformation were the architecture of his mind. He urged and taught Christians toward the development of the Christian mind, and ideas were his battleground.

There were many theologians responsible (humanly speaking) for a resurgence of reformed theology in the twentieth century, including Cornelius Van Til, R. J. Rushdoony, Gordon Clark, Greg Bahnsen, Alvin Plantinga, and many others.  However, from the perspective of the popularization of theological ideas and the ability to see the future and react quickly to the changes in how people would be educated, Sproul was unsurpassed.  He was also unsurpassed as a communicator and teacher.

His legacy is cemented, but I’m sure he isn’t concerned about his legacy right now.  I don’t believe in the term RIP (rest in peace).  There is no rest.  Sproul is busy worshipping at the throne of glory right now.  Good.

No, Self Defense Is YOUR Job!

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Canton Rep:

“There’s a sort of implied pacifism by clergy and rabbis, but the Scriptures don’t support that,” he said. “The concept of the shepherd is that he’s someone who leads his flock, feeds his flock and protects his flock.”

Oyler cites Luke 22:36, when, at the end of his life, Jesus warned his disciples they would be in danger and appears to instruct them to purchase a sword for protection. It’s a contrast to Luke 9, Oyler said, when Jesus sent them out unarmed.

“We are targets,” Oyler said. “As the shepherd of the congregation, I believe I have a responsibility to have a tactical (plan) to protect my congregation … what we do ministry-wise is a little unique. We don’t ingratiate ourselves to everyone.”

Let’s not carry this too far.  While I concur that protecting your neighbors and loved ones is required, it is required of us all, not just pastors.

If you want properly to care for your “flock,” teach good doctrine.  That includes the notion that every man takes a vow when he starts a family to protect his family and give his life if necessary.  It isn’t the pastor’s job any more than your manager at work.  That’s why I’ve never been impressed at LEOs being “sworn,” as if this is something big, unique or special.  All men are sworn.

To be sure, your congregation should have a security and tactical plan, and you should create it and practice it with the other congregants.  But when it comes to a man standing over your family in the pew getting ready to take the life of your wife or children, don’t you dare look to someone else to do the protecting.


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